La Salle Lake SNA


Area and County

    Hubbard County
    Northwest Minnesota

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268.7 acres


Detail map (MN DNR)

La Salle Lake SRA map (MN DNR)


 Printable Maps with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

N47 20.983, W95 10.381

N47 20.970, W95 10.613

Hiking Trails

A short mowed trail (in 2013) leads from the parking area northwest to an overlook with a partially obstructed view.


All hunting and trapping. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.

Ecological Classification Province  

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

Ecological Classification

N. Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains


Chippewa Plains

Land Type Association(s)

Becida Till Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Central Rich Dry Pine Woodland

Jack Pine - (Bush Honeysuckle) Woodland: Bracken Subtype

Red Pine - White Pine Forest

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype

Sedge Meadow

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral)

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp

Natural Features

Glacial tunnel valley, LaSalle Creek, and undisturbed natural shore of the Mississippi River.

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Minnesota DNR


This SNA was designated June 27, 2011. It is part of the La Salle Lake State Recreational Area.

Several places along the bluff on the south side of the Mississippi River valley provide a scenic but obstructed view of the Mississippi River valley. There is a spectacular, unobstructed overlook at the northernmost point of the bluff. The La Salle Lake SRA map shows a hiking trail leading from the parking area to this overlook. In June, 2013, the trail was not discernible on the ground.

Mississippi River Footbridge
Coffeepot Landing, a public canoe access, is adjacent to this SNA. It includes a footbridge across the Mississippi River.

Debris Field
On July 2, 2012, a severe thunderstorm went through Clearwater and Hubbard Counties. Itasca State Park, La Salle Lake SNA, and La Salle Lake State Recreational Area were all in the path of the thunderstorm. The storm brought straight line winds with speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. Especially hard hit was the jack pine forest in this SNA southwest of the confluence of the Mississippi River and LaSalle Creek. In this area almost every tree was uprooted or snapped.

A year later, in June, 2013, most of the fallen trees have been removed but a few remain. The fallen trees, along with tree stumps and large branches, litter the ground over what remains a large debris field. Plant species usually found only in woodlands, including round-lobed hepatica, wild sasparilla, and Canada mayflower, grow in this area with no overstory.

Nature has years of decomposition and revegetation work to accomplish here. Until then, visitors will stumble over debris concealed under a fresh understory of early successional species.








Visitor Photos
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Crystal Boyd
  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA    Photos

East Parking

  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA

West Parking

  La Salle Lake SNA    

Mowed Trail

  La Salle Lake SNA    

Coffeepot Landing

  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA    

Mississippi River

  La Salle Lake SNA    

Scenic Overlook

  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA    

Obstructed Overlooks

  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA    

Debris Fields

  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA   La Salle Lake SNA



  La Salle Lake SNA
  La Salle Lake SNA  

La Salle Lake SNA is part of a larger landscape recognized for many years as an exceptional place. The clear-running La Salle Creek, its source in Itasca State Park, meanders north along a narrow valley formed as a glacial tunnel valley.




Visitor Videos
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Other Videos
La Salle Lake Scientific & Natural Area blowdown

Published on Jul 5, 2012

Winds of over 80 mph leveled a jack pine forest in northwestern Minnesota durning a severe thunderstorm on July 2, 2012.

A Walk in the La Salle Lake Scientific & Natural Area blowdown

Published on Jul 5, 2012

A short but difficult walk in the tangled aftermath of the July 2, 2012 wind storm that struck parts of northwestern Minnesota, including the La Salle Lake Scientific and Natural Area where this video was taken three days after the storm.




Visitor Observations
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Crystal Boyd

Insects and Arachnids

fireflies (Ellychnia sp.)

tricolored/orange-belted bumblebee (Bombus ternarius--queen)

tricolored/orange-belted bumblebee


juneberry (Amelanchier sp.)

blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

wild strawberry


One bird species with conservation status in Minnesota and one tracked species have been seen here:


Special concern

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)



Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist


American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Black-capped Chickadee

Fungi and Lichens

Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Artist’s Conk

Insects and Arachnids

Two caddisfly species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here. Neither has an accepted common name.


Special concern

a species of purse casemaker caddisfly (Oxyethira ecornuta)

a species of purse casemaker caddisfly (Oxyethira itascae)


American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

chalk-fronted corporal (Ladona julia)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

chalk-fronted corporal

eastern tent caterpillar


One mammal species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:



gray wolf (Canis lupus)


whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

whitetail deer


One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota and one species on the watch list are found here:


Special concern

northern oak fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum)


Watch list

hair-like sedge (Carex capillaris)


Plants frequently found in:

Central Rich Dry Pine Woodland FDc24

Jack Pine - (Bush Honeysuckle) Woodland: Bracken Subtype FDc24a1

Red Pine - White Pine Forest FDc34a

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype FDn33a1

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral) FPn63b

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp WMn82a



American cow parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black spruce (Picea mariana)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

cream pea (Lathyrus ochroleucus)

downy arrowwood (Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. rafinesqueanum)

early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

ironwood (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

Maryland black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica)

mountain blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum)

orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

Parlin’s pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough-fruited cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

silvery cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

tall meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

wood betony (Pedicularis canadensis ssp. canadensis)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)


Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone)

Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax (Parlin’s pussytoes)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum (northern lady fern)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum (American cow parsnip)

Lathyrus ochroleucus (cream pea)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (ironwood)

Pedicularis canadensis ssp. canadensis (wood betony)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Picea mariana (black spruce)

Pilosella aurantiaca (orange hawkweed)

Pinus banksiana (jack pine)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil)

Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Sanicula marilandica (Maryland black snakeroot)

Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum (mountain blue-eyed grass)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (tall meadow rue)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Viburnum rafinesqueanum var. rafinesqueanum (downy arrowwood)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)

American cow parsnip

black cherry



Canada anemone

common evening primrose

common tansy

golden alexanders

fragrant bedstraw

northern bedstraw

orange hawkweed


prairie rose

red baneberry

red clover

white clover

wild columbine

wood betony




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